Desolation and destruction were the words that came to mind. The once thriving city park was barren and quiet. The streets surrounding the park were and eerie empty and a strange calm. Not a noise was to be heard, not even from a bird or a dog.

Sasha turned slowly to take in the once bustling Central Park and now deadened city of New York. There was a time that the city had been his home. Now it was the image of a wasteland. If he looked closely he could see blood splashed on the sidewalk and splattered on cars (along with some other things that he didn't want to think about).

Shifting his hold on his gun, Sasha began walking towards the nearest convience store. It would most likely be gutted, but he was running low on cigarettes. Those should at least still be left: food and water was what most survivors were concerned about.

Sasha weaved his way through the mess of cars and bodies of the truly dead. The smell of death and decay was strong, but he was pretty much immune to it. He glanced around and kept alert when he caught sight of a small store. He didn't want to happen upon any unpleasant guests.

Upon entering the store, Sasha swung up his shotgun and did a sweep of the immediate area. So far so good. Sasha spotted the counter and briskly made his way toward it. He quickly got behind the counter and began picking his way through the different cigarettes.

After a few minutes of scrounging, Sasha straightened up, successful. Swinging his bag off his back and unzipping it, he began to jam the Marlboro Reds into it. As he was stuffing the smokes inside, Sasha caught a strong odor of decay and the noise of shuffling.

Quietly as he could, Sasha made his way back around the counter, picking up his shotgun along the way. Slowly and as silently as he could, Sasha walked around the small store. His eyes were wide and darting, his breathing shallow. As he got closer to the back corner the louder the shuffling noise became and the stronger the smell.

Slyly coming up to the last isle, Sasha popped his head around the corner before bringing it back just as quickly.

The monstrosity was bent over the still twitching body of a human. Sasha felt his stomach clench at the thought that at any time that could be him. And not necessarily as the meal either.

Sasha shook his head to remove the disturbing thoughts. He planned on living through the hellish war, because that's what it was now. Survivors against the monsters. And he refused to play for the monsters.

Bringing his gun up to his shoulder, Sasha stepped into the isle and gave a sharp whistle. The monster's head snapped up and around. It took in Sasha for only a moment before it let out an unearthly howl and charged.

Sasha expected no different and squeezed the trigger. The shot rang out loud, but true. The monster's head blew away from its body in a shower of blood, brain, and bone fragments. The gore sprayed in all directions, splashing against the walls and floors. Sasha even felt it speckle against his face and upper torso.

Without thought, Sasha strode over to the human body and pointed his gun at it. Sasha hesitated at pulling the trigger. He took in the looks of the dead human. It was a young man, probably not much older than Sasha himself.

Sasha's gun dipped a small amount and he struggled with himself whether to just leave or not. A moment's hesitation was all that was needed.

The human-turned-monster shot up with a howl and grabbed for Sasha. Quicker than the eye could see, the monster's head was gone and a smoking gun barrel was inches away from where the head once was.

Sasha let out a shaky breath. Fucking zombies.